Consumer Spending Drops, Tech And Entertainment Hit Hard

Shopping-A3A slight decline in global consumer confidence data could be a concern to marketers and media platforms.

Nielsen says global consumer confidence declined three index points to 91 in the second quarter of 2012 -- with the finger pointed at a worsening euro zone crisis, lackluster U.S. job growth and China’s downward GDP revision for 2012.

What Nielsen says is "intended discretionary spending and saving" decreased globally in the second quarter this year across all sectors reviewed. It says the biggest losers were expected spending on new technology products, which sank five percentage points to 23%; out-of-home entertainment, slipping four points to 28%; and holidays/vacations, off three points to 30%.

An even bigger issue is the intention to save money, which has dropped to 47% from 50% in the first quarter of 2012. Specific investing in stocks and mutual funds slipped 4 percentage points to 19%, and 4 points in overall retirement savings to 9%.

Looking at specific territories shows Asia-Pacific sinking to 100 consumer confidence index, a loss of three points; North America down four points to an 88 number; and Latin America off two points to 96. Among those that are improving, Europe and the Middle East/Africa climbed slightly, just one point each to a 73 and a 98 index.

Confidence numbers declined in 26 of 56 markets, increased in 23, and remained flat in seven.

Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen, stated:  “As renewed volatility entered global markets, consumers reacted by reining in spending and consumption intentions.”

What little money consumers do have left is earmarked for saving on expenses and changing buying habits. More than two-thirds (67%) say they will make spending and saving changes. Also, more than half (57%) say they are in recession and half of those believe it will continue for another year.



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